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Curtain rises for Victoria film festival (video)

By Jessica Rodrigo
April 4, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated April 3, 2013 at 11:04 p.m.

From left: Ben and Kathleen Keating and Don and Susannah Porr watch "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," the first full film screened at the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival.

Nestled near the wall of the Children's Discovery Museum, Melissa and Felix Rubio sat comfortably beneath thick, fleece and woven blankets in chairs they brought themselves.

The couple attended last year's film festival in March and were prepared for the lineup both physically and mentally.

"We downloaded the app and got all the information we needed," Melissa Rubio, 44, said. "We've got a plan."

Although Day 1 had just begun for the film-lovers, the two said they were ready to watch "Roundball" and "Heartstring Marionette."

"I'm actually in the opening scene (of 'Roundball')," Felix Rubio, 49, said with a smile.

He will appear on the big screen at the Leo J. Welder Center, and she will earn stardom by default. But long before that, the two were lured to the festival to experience an alternative collection of movies.

"It's neat to see the creativity of other artists that aren't mainstream," she said.

Behind the rows of plastic chairs set out for the Cinema Under the Stars screenings, the couple enjoyed whimsical lyrics of Kevin Gant.

To kick off the the premiere of "Never Records: You Are Not Listening," Gant performed for an audience as the sun set and the temperature dropped. The film was screened outdoors on the wall of the Victoria Junior League building on the corner of Forrest and Main streets.

On the other side of the Children's Discovery Museum, inside the Welder Center was a cluster of eager moviegoers, waiting for the first film of the evening and the question-and-answer session with "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" directors Jessie Taylor and Dave Schmidt to end.

Waiting in line for the next film, Sean Christiansen and Lourdes Fric took photos with their smartphones as they posed in front of the art hanging in the Welder Center.

Christiansen, 44, said the independent films and the art attracted him to the event. The two didn't attend last year's festival, but said they were longing for something fun to do. They bought VTXIFF wristbands and planned to watch "Roundball" and mentioned "Il Futuro" as one movie on their list of must-sees.

Though they were waiting in a line that was behind schedule, Fric, 39, was happy with their purchase of the all-access wristbands.

"We're having a great time," she said.

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